I take a lot of pictures – a lot! Everywhere I go. And I always revisit each image and think about what I can do to make it better. If it just doesn’t resonate with me, I move on to the next image. Image A is an abandoned house I happened to pass on a drive from Gainesville, FL. This was my first shot as I approached the building. Later, when I got the images into Lightroom, I filled in the sky (Image B), but it still wasn’t doing it for me. So I moved on, that is until I got to Images C and D of the front of the house. They made me think of all the lives that must have passed through those doors before passing themselves.
I decided to make a digital collage of the combined works to make one graphic statement about not only the place, but its sense of place…but so what? Well, I’ve been making these collages for years (often with my students), so I am going to finish this piece and create a series of books based on my years of teaching – that’s my “so what” this time.
I’ll bet that you have a phone full of images of things that have caught your attention – some moment that you were trying to hold on to? And with all of those images, that are really just zeros and ones, what is the “so what?” What do you do with them? Aside from archiving the images (which you should be doing), what is the life of these images? What was the point of taking them? “…they are our memories of _____.” I would argue that unless they are realized in some tactile form that they essentially don’t exist because their virtual life is at the whim of corrupted files, failing or evolving technologies, or just a damn power surge. All of those have happened to me, some multiple times and with devastating consequences. So I implore you, do something with all of those images that you take; if nothing else, send them to CVS once a month and make 4×6 prints. If you trust all of those memories to a digital format, you are dooming your progeny to a life without context; to a life without cherished ephemera.